Tytti Tuppurainen tells Euronews why Finland wants to join the NATO military allianceComments
"If we were attacked militarily, we do not want to be alone."
They were the words of Finland's European affairs minister Tytti Tuppurainen as she explained to Euronews why her country is seeking membership of the NATO military alliance.
On Wednesday, both Finland and Sweden submitted applications to join the transatlantic club.
Helsinki has long had a partnership with NATO and has taken part in its military exercises. But joining means Finland will have the protection of other member states, should it be attacked.
"Since the very first polls after the war started there's been a huge majority in favour of NATO membership," said Tuppurainen.
"The Finnish public knows that we are [already] so close to NATO as it is possible to be without being a member.
"And now that [Russia President] Vladimir Putin triggered this ruthless war in Ukraine, our people see what kind of neighbour we have and they see that it's high time to become an actual member [of NATO].
"If we were attacked militarily, we do not want to be alone. We need security guarantees and this is about defence and getting solidarity if and when we were attacked. So far there is no threat against us. We are not afraid of war. So we are not making this decision out of fear."
Watch the full interview with Tuppurainen in the video player, above.